The Núria Valley 



Come in the Núria Valley it's find the landscape and the nature in all their splendour and magnificence.

The Núria Valley is situated on the Southern slope of the Eastern Pyrenees, at 2000 meters of altitude, and is surrounded of tops grazing the 3000 meters, in a vast amphitheatre with soft slopes in which prevail the silence and the peace. It is situated in the region of Girona. The highest point is the Puigmal, 2 913 meters.

© Nicolas


The access to the valley, is making by the rack railway, which the start takes place from the station of Ribes-Enllaç and which pass by at Ribes-Vila and Queralbs, last village which can be had access to by the road. A place through which flows smoothly, silent, the only rack railway of all the State. The beauty and the spectacle that offers the landscape gone through by the rack railway of Núria are probably the most remarkable charateristics of this train. Nevertheless, others factors come give it a peculiar nature. We have to make at the only and single train which works according the rack system in the whole spain State, but also, at the only means of mechanical transport permitting to have access to the Núria Valley.


In this environment, we find deciduous woods, the forests of sessile oaks and undergrowthes of hazels and ferns, the ash plantations, not very abounding, with European ashes, like the goat willow. In these forests, it is easy to find birds, such as the coal tit, the wagtail the robin and the green woodpecker. As for the amphibians, there is the salamander. Some of these woods have been supplanted by harvest fields. It predominates there a flat vegetation, composed, among others, of graminaceous plants, leguminous plants, of anemones and of gentians. One of the most characteristic is the Pyrenean gentian, of bluish colour, which grows up in the meadows and passes the winter covered of snow. During the short period of vegetative growth, the strategy adopted by some of these species consists in dying of a bright colouring, so as to can be quickly pollinated by the insects.

The avifauna is very varied, but we must particularly quote the golden eagle, which often plane on Núria, in search of a prey to feed itself. The streams of water are populated with a grand number of insects and larvas which serve of food to species such as the white-throated dipper, able to dive in the cold waters in search of a spoon worm. We can also see there fishes such as, for example, the fresh water trout and amphibians, such as the Pyrenean brook salamander, endemic to the Pyrenees.

The mushrooms play a very important role in the maintenance of the ecological balance, since they are, in themselves, a decomposition of the substance, changed into usable substances to serve of food to another species. We can especially quote the fairy ring mushroom, the St George's Mushroom and the fly agaric. One of the birds the most adapted is the ptarmigan, which the plumage changes of colour in winter to be able to merge with the snow. In flying over the airspace, we can see a bird of prey which profits by the existing thermal stream to be able to move with ease.

As for the mammals, we must quote the chamois and the moufflons, species which can easily be seen at the dawn in little groups in the meadows of the sunny slopes, like those which are on the gorges of Núria. We can also see them closely, in the early morning, in climbing to the Puigmal.

The water is one of the elements the most expensive in the Núria Valley, not only because of the interest that it can have for the nature, but also because of its use in the tourist complex. The Núria Valley has a hydrographic network formed by the torrents and the little ponds of the basins in the surroundings, sculpted by the ice-activity of the quaternary era. The principal torrents are the torrents of the Coma de l'Embut, of Finestrelles, of Eina, of Noufonts and of Mulleres. They catch the waters from the sources being born from the highest peaks to transport them to the bottom of the valleys, where they all come progressively meet together to the lake of Núria. From there, they descend the Núria river, between the impressive rocks of Tot lo Món, to arrive in the surroundings of Queralbs, where they flow into the river of the Freser.

The Núria Valley uses the water for the sanitary consumption, the production of artificial snow, the consumption of the water intended for the irrigation, the production of electrical energy and the hydrous network against the fires.

It's in Núria that came rejoin together the glaciers coming from Finestrelles, from the Eugassers, from the Noufonts, from the Eina and from the Noucreus to form the one of Núria. This last rushed the basin down from the Núria river to Queralbs, where it was intercepted by the glacier of the Freser.

The neighbouring grottos of Núria constituted the habitat of the first inhabitants of this region, who lived on the rearing and the agriculture. The found human bones, tools, ceramics, paintings and megalithic constructions prove that this region has been already inhabited in the Paleolithic and in the Neolithic.

The tradition

The sanctuary of the Virgin of Núria plays a very important role in the religious and traditional life of this region. The evolution of the sanctuary and the cult dedicated to this virgin help us to understand the character, the customs and some historical events of a people.



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